I currently manage a UK-based site offering services to clients in English-speaking countries (but primarily the UK).
The service we offer can be provided worldwide. We're therefore looking at expanding.
My idea was to purchase domains for Australia, New Zealand and Canada to begin with and set these up as new sites, with new content and promoted as a 'sister site' of our UK company.
Would this be the right way to go about things in relation to Google?
One of our competitors does something similar and all their content is identical - .co.uk / .za etc - all they have done is change the currency and the localised spelling of particular words (all other content is the same). We would set up completely different sites with none of the UK content.
that content of your sister sites should be unique as now Google is very strict on content.
That's a bold statement with all the duplicated scraper crap that abounds currently on the Net.
Theoretically it should be possible to have identical sites in each country since Google supposedly ranks geographically by country code tld. Whether this is true or not is very difficult to prove however this last year I uploaded my example.com to my example.co.uk simply because Google removed my .com from their .co.uk SERPs.
All I can say is that the site is fully indexed and many pages are now ranking where the .com used to be.
I'm not guaranteeing anything other than why not try it out?
generally speaking google wil geotarget by ccTLD and will filter content on a .co.uk domain for google.co.uk searches, content on a .ca domain for google.ca searches, etc. therefore you should be ok with duplicate content across ccTLDs.